888 Holdings Launches New African Joint Venture
888 Holdings PLC has announced that it has signed an agreement with five industry veterans to form a new joint venture (888AFRICA), that will operate 888 brands in online betting and gaming markets across selected regulated markets in Africa. 888 has invested in a minority stake in 888AFRICA, with the option to increase this to take control, and ultimately own up to 100% of the venture in the future.
888AFRICA will be led by industry leaders including Christopher Coyne, former Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Customer Officer at The Stars Group; Andrew Lee, former MD – Sportsbook of The Stars Group and current Chairman of Voxbet; Alex Rutherford, former Chief Product Officer at Editec Online; Ian Marmion, former Sportsbook Trading Director at The Stars Group; and Helen Scott-Allen, former CFO of Premier Bet.
Under the terms of the agreement, 888AFRICA will pay a brand licence fee to use and operate 888’s renowned online betting and gaming brands in selected regulated markets in Africa. The brands will operate via a third-party technology platform, with products and content designed for the local preferences of the African market. Initially, 888AFRICA expects (subject to licensing) to launch in four markets on the continent during 2022.
Itai Pazner, CEO of 888 Holdings, said: “We are very excited to establish 888AFRICA alongside such an impressive roster of industry talent. The new JV will launch 888’s world-class online betting and gaming brands to millions of new customers in the exciting and fast-growing African online market. The structure of this deal enables the Group to invest in a strong business with high growth ambitions, without distracting focus from our core business and key strategic markets.
“We look forward to being a part of 888AFRICA’s journey as it grows its footprint and increases brand awareness, while also offering potentially significant long-term opportunities for the Group in the future.”
Christopher Coyne, CEO of 888AFRICA, said: “We are delighted to launch 888AFRICA alongside 888. With our team of experienced professionals and significant knowledge of the African markets, it is our ambition to build the business towards market-leading positions in selected regulated markets across the region.
“Partnering with 888 will give us access to a world-class brand, as well as a broad team of experts to support our growth plans, further enhancing our confidence in our future prospects.”
Oakvale Capital LLP acted as financial adviser and Herzog Fox & Neeman acted as legal adviser to 888.
MSSA’s view of encouraging females to play esports
Esports, or electronic sports, has become a global phenomenon, with millions of people tuning in to watch competitive video game matches online or in person. As the popularity of esports continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to encourage diversity and inclusivity in the industry, particularly in terms of gender.
Since 2009 Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has had an active policy to increase female representation in esports. This is important for a number of reasons. First, it is simply a matter of fairness and equality. Women should have the same opportunities to compete and succeed in esports as men. By promoting gender diversity in the industry, we can help to break down barriers and create a more inclusive environment for everyone.
However, as MSSA President, Colin Webster, stated, “There are also practical reasons why having more females play esports is important. For one, it can help to grow the industry. Women make up a significant portion of the gaming market, and by tapping into this market, esports organizations and companies can reach a wider audience and increase their revenue streams.”
Webster added, “Additionally, having more females involved in esports can help to address some of the toxic behaviors and attitudes that have plagued the industry in the past. Women have historically faced harassment and discrimination in the gaming world, but by promoting gender diversity and inclusion, we can help to create a more welcoming and supportive community.”
There are also potential benefits to individual female players. By participating in esports, women can gain valuable skills and experience in areas such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving as well as earn Regional, provincial, and National Colours that may help such females obtain bursaries in order to study further. These skills can then be applied to other areas of their lives, such as their careers or personal relationships.
However, increasing female representation in esports is not without its challenges as MSSA is painfully aware. Women are still underrepresented in the industry, and those who do participate often face a range of barriers and obstacles. Some of these include online harassment and discrimination, a lack of female role models and mentors, and limited opportunities for sponsorship and funding.
MSSA faced very stiff opposition from many gamers, some of them who even have daughters, over the years when promoting its policies of enablement and inclusion.
To address these challenges, MSSA has always taken proactive steps to promote gender diversity and inclusion. This has included initiatives of providing incentives and creating real and credible upward movement. MSSA is the only esports national federation, world-wide with 40% of its Board consisting of female Board Members.
In conclusion, increasing female representation in esports is not only a matter of fairness and equality, but also a practical way to grow the industry and create a more inclusive and supportive community. By taking proactive steps to promote gender diversity and inclusion, we can help to build a better future for esports and for everyone involved in it.
Mind Sports South Africa’s (MSSA) 2023 Gauteng Online Championships held on 11 March 2023 showed sterling results.
The championship was a last chance for many esports athletes to qualify for MSSA’s National Team Trials to be held on 25 March 2023 at which the team will be selected to officially represent South Africa at the African Qualifiers which lead up to IESF’s 15th World Esports Championships to be held in Lasi, Romania in August 2023.
All Registered Players who have finished in the top three places, or the top 20% – whichever is greater, are entitled to enter trials.
However, it must be remembered that all players must have a valid passport at the date of entry.
It was indeed exciting to watch just how much all the female teams have improved.
White Rabbit Gaming Club’s (WRG) female team astounded all with their skill and sportsmanship. The team demolished all the female opposition and narrowly lost to the male team which ultimately won the premier event.
It is expected that the selection process for the esports title will be hotly contested.
Other female teams that excelled are:
- Roedean College – League of Legends, and
- Northcliff High School – Mobile Legends: Bang, Bang
The high standard of play saw a number of Registered Players being awarded Provincial Colours. Only Limpopo and Northern Cape did not have rRegistered Players who did not earn provincial colours.
The winners are as follows:
|Title||Name of player/team||Club||Provincial Colours awarded|
|Clash of Clans – Premier||Christo van Zyl||Point High School||Western Cape|
|Clash of Clans – Hgh School||Martin venter||Hoër Volkskool|
|Clash Royale – Premier||Jimmy Swanepoel||Point High School||Western Cape|
|Clash Royale – High School||Norrice Le Roux||Point High School|
CS:GO – Premier
|ZAG CS||ZAG Academy|
|Josh Chapman||Western Cape|
|Sebastian Montoya-Pelaez||Western Cape|
|Michael de Villiers||Western Cape|
|Josh Orelowitz||Western Cape|
|Ayush Singh (sub)||KwaZulu Natal|
CS:GO – Premier – Female
|White Rabbit Gaming||White Rabbit Gaming|
|Rochelle Elizabeth Noortman||Free State|
|Roelien van Dyk||Gauteng|
|Jessica Eleez Greeff||KwaZulu Natal|
DotA – Premier
|ZAG DOTA 1||ZAG Academy|
|Travis John Waters||Western Cape|
|Mark Kilian Lehle||Gauteng|
|Mohammad Dhooma||Eastern Cape|
DotA – High School
|CCL Knights||Crawford College Lonehill|
|Howie Chen||Gauteng High School|
|Srivar Premjeeth||Gauteng High School|
|Arav Harrielal||Gauteng High School|
|Ashen Naidoo||Gauteng High School|
|Tej Kistasamy||Gauteng High School|
|eFootball – Premier||Ridah Hendricks||PES Society||Western Cape|
|FIFA 23 – Premier||Rethabile Masangane||NWU|
|FIFA 23 – High School||Antonie Botes||Hoër Volkskool|
|HearthStone||Kyle Vorster||ZAG Academy||Gauteng|
League of Legends
|Thomas Stephanus Swanepoel||TuksEsports||Gauteg|
|Hein van Rooy||TuksEsports||Gauteng|
|Johannes Gysbert Du Preez||TuksEsports||Gauteng|
League of Legends Female
League of Legends – High School
|Lu-Zelle Kruger||Mpumalanga High School|
|Xavier de Beer||Mpumalanga High School|
|Patric Nel||Mpumalanga High School|
|Dylan Putek||Mpumalanga High School|
|Calvin Kok||Mpumalanga High School|
Mobile Legends Premier
|MOMS Legends||Masters of Mind Sports|
|Leone Loftus (Captain)||Free State|
|Joost Loftus||Free State|
|Leonard Loftus||Free State|
|Adriaan du Plessis||Gauteng|
Mobile Legends Female
|Pr0NHS||Northcliff High School|
|Kennedy Cassells (captain)||Gauteng|
|Rocket League – Premier – 1 v 1||Ngwazi Mathebula||Middies||Mpumalanga|
|Rocket League – High School – 1 v 1||Nathan Jacobs||Middies|
Rocket League – Premier – 3 v 3
|MIGHTY TEDDY BEARS||King Edward VII School|
|Liam Hughes||King Edward VII School||Gauteng|
|Emilo Dos Santos||King Edward VII School||Gauteng|
|Judah Dos Santos||King Edward VII School||Gauteng|
|Tekken 7 – Premier||Jonathan Brown||Team PlayBell||Western Cape|
|Sportsmanship Award||Jessica Eleez Greeff||White Rabbit Gaming Club|
IESF has announced the slots for 15th World Championships to be held in Iasi, Romania
With South Africa’s National Team Trials, to be held on 25 March 2023, quickly approaching, excitement among Registered Players is reaching an all time high.
It is thus welcome news that International Esports Federation (IESF) has just informed Mind Sports South Africa of the number of slots for Africa for IESF’s 15th World Esports Championships (WEC 23′) to be held in August in Iasi, Romania.
The slot distribution for WEC 23′ is divided per registered country per continent, and we would like to inform you that Africa acquired a total number of 13 out of the 82 slots for the following games:
- CSGO – 3
- Dota 2 – 2
- Mobile Legends Bang Bang – 3
- PUBG Mobile – 3
- CSGO Female – 2
IESF has also advised MSSA that all African National Federations that have registered athletes for Tekken and Efootbal get a direct slot.
Thus with MSSA having so registered for both Tekken and Efootball, the Registered Player selected by MSSA at its National Team titles for these two esports titles will go straight through to lovely Iasi and not have to fight it out in an African regional Qualifier.
The last chance for athletes to qualify for National Team Trials is:
- 2023 Gauteng Online Championships to be held on 11 March 2023.
All those entering National Team Trials are again reminded to have valid passports on the date of such National Team Trials.
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